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Texas Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Allen West has pneumonia; infection rates falling – for now: Live COVID-19 updates – USA TODAY

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Tea Party favorite and Texas gubernatorial candidate Allen West says he has tested positive for COVID-19 and probably will be hospitalized.

West, 60, said he is not vaccinated and that his wife Angela West, who is vaccinated, also tested positive. Both have completed monoclonal antibody injections, West said on  Twitter. He also said he is “taking hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin protocols.” Neither drug has received FDA approval for use against COVID.

“There’s a concern about my oxygen saturation levels, which are at 89 and they should be at 95,” West said. “My chest X-rays do show COVID pneumonia, not serious.”

West said he is experiencing a low-grade fever and light body aches.

“Out of concern for public health, Col. West is suspending in-person events until receiving an all-clear indication,” another tweet said. On Thursday, he attended a what he described as a “packed house” Mission Generation Annual Gala & Fundraiser in Seabrook, Texas.

West is a former Texas Republican Party chair and Florida congressman. He announced in July that he would challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbot, who is running for a third term and has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Also in the news: 

► More than 20,000 runners will gather Monday for the 125th Boston Marathon, delayed from April due to the pandemic.

► Malaysian officials say 90% of adults are now fully vaccinated and that outbound international travel restrictions will be eased for vaccinated residents starting Monday. About 68% of American adults are fully vaccinated.

Breakthrough COVID-19 infections in Arizona rose to nearly 18% of new cases in September, but state health officials emphasize vaccination remains the best way to prevent serious illness and death. In July, the breakthrough rate was 14% of new cases. In August, it went up to 15%.

► An Apple Store security guard in New York City was stabbed over a mask dispute and authorities are searching for the suspect. The victim’s injuries were not life-threatening.

► Starting Monday, San Francisco’s port will reopen to cruise ships after a 19-month hiatus.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 44.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 712,900 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 237.5 million cases and 4.8 million deaths. More than 187.2 million Americans – 56.4% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

📘 What we’re reading: From Cambodia to Canada, dozens of other nations are beating U.S. in COVID-19 vaccinations. The differences are stark: Fifty million more Americans would need to be vaccinated now to match Canada’s enthusiasm. What happened here?

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

COVID rates are falling – but winter and human error could erase gains

COVID-19 rates are finally falling again after a wave nearly as bad as the one last winter. But experts warn that if we start acting as if COVID-19 is over, another surge is possible. If people stop taking precautions, start gathering indoors in large numbers and shrug off vaccines or boosters, another wave could strike this winter.

“A lot of it depends on human behavior, and human behavior in this pandemic hasn’t served us very well,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a recent call with reporters. “We are battling with ourselves, not with the common foe.”

Karen Weintraub

Pandemic depression, anxiety rose and fell with surges

A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that anxiety and depression levels rose late last year at a pandemic peak time, and fell after vaccines became widespread and restrictions eased. Anxiety scores increased 13% from August to December in 2020, and then decreased 26.8% between then and late May to early June. Similarly, depression levels increased 14.8% and then decreased 24.8%. The analysis was conducted based on Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data.

“Across the entire study period, the frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms was positively correlated with the average number of daily COVID-19 cases,” the study said. “Mental health services and resources, including telehealth behavioral services, are critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Iowa schools can keep requiring masks after preliminary injunction

Iowa school districts with facial covering requirements can keep them in place for now after a federal judge extended the pause on the state’s ban on school mask mandates. Judge Robert Pratt — who had issued a temporary restraining order against the law on Sept. 13 in response to a lawsuit filed by parents of students with disabilities — granted a preliminary injunction against the state law Friday.

Pratt’s temporary restraining order was set to expire Monday, but now the injunction means the law could be blocked for the duration of the lawsuit. In Friday’s filing, Pratt cited the trajectory of pediatric COVID-19 cases in the state since the beginning of the school year and “the irreparable harm that could befall the children involved in this case.”

-Ian Richardson, The Des Moines Register

Contributing: The Associated Press

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